A GoodTherapy.org News Update
Most mental health professionals practicing today are well familiar with people afflicted by an addiction to gambling or risk-taking. One of the most prevalent reported complaints held by those seeking professional help, gambling addiction a fairly serious problem that finds a variety of outlets in modern society, making it quite difficult for some to resist. In the fight to learn as much as possible about this condition, extensive research has been performed in a variety of specific topics, and recently a team from the United Kingdom has approached chronically risky behavior from a genetic standpoint.
Hailing from the University College London, the team set out to determine whether a specific gene primarily responsible for the transport of serotonin in the brain had any bearing on people’s propensity to gamble. Thirty participants of various backgrounds but with two key attributes –either a long or a short pair of gene variants– were collected for the study. In the course of the research, the participants were given a task in which they had to decide whether or not to gamble a certain amount of cash. Interestingly, those who retained two pairs of short gene variants were more likely to take the offered gamble than their long-paired counterparts.
Publishing their results in the latest issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, the team notes that singling out genes which may be responsible for various undesired behaviors can provide many options for medical health research and development. Of course, such studies also go a long way towards informing the realm of psychotherapy, which through understanding genetic links to various behaviors and conditions, can help people overcome even the greatest and seemingly most ingrained obstacles.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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